Positive or Negative? The Influence of Message Framing, Regulatory Focus, and Product Type
This study compares positive and negative message framing, and examines how product type and the consumer’s regulatory focus moderate ad effectiveness. We conducted a 2 (message framing: positive vs. negative) × 2 (product type: hedonic vs. utilitarian) × 2 (regulatory focus: promotion focus vs. prevention focus) between-subjects experiment in which we measured individual differences in regulatory focus. The results indicate that, regardless of product type, ads with positively framed messages are more effective than those with negatively framed messages for promotion-focused consumers. However, for prevention-focused consumers, positively framed messages are more effective than negatively framed ones when the advertised product is utilitarian. By contrast, negatively framed messages are more effective than positively framed ones for such consumers when the advertised product is hedonic. Therefore, marketers can more effectively target consumers by matching the framing of the message with the advertised product.